THE ARRIVAL OF AFRICANS TO VIRGINIA IN 1619
In August 1619, a privateering vessel flying the flag of the Dutch Republic arrived at Point Comfort, Virginia (in present-day Hampton). According to John Rolfe, the ship held no cargo but “20 and odd” Africans, who were traded to Governor George Yeardley and Cape Merchant Abraham Peirsey in exchange for provisions. These individuals, originally captured by Portuguese…
ENGLISH WOMEN COME TO VIRGINIA
When the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery arrived in Virginia with a group of 104 settlers in 1607, women were not among them. Despite the references of habitation and plantation in the Jamestown colony’s charter, the Virginia Company sent men to Virginia family structure in the colony if they wished to bring stability to Virginia and ensure that Jamestown became a permanent settlement.
GOVERNMENT IN JAMESTOWN
1619 was a year of many firsts for the Virginia colony, including the first legislative assembly held in English North America. This initial meeting of the General Assembly convened in the choir of the Jamestown church and consisted of the governor, his Council, and elected representatives from all of the settled areas of Virginia. The assembly marked the beginning of…
SORTING THROUGH COLONIAL LIFE
Berkeley Plantation is one of Virginia’s most historic plantations, located on the James River in Charles City, Virginia. The site’s history began in 1619, when settlers observed the first official Thanksgiving in English North America. In addition to Virginia Thanksgiving, Berkeley Plantation offers a unique study of colonial life and culture in the eighteenth century. In this lesson, students will learn about colonial life through 12…
TOBACCO IN JAMESTOWN
The economy of Virginia depended on agriculture, namely tobacco, as its primary source of wealth. Tobacco became the colony’s most successful cash crop, which required a steady and inexpensive source of labor to work on farms and plantations. For this reason, African men, women, and children were brought to the colony in large numbers, establishing a related to slavery and tobacco in Virginia, to better…
ANALYZING THE LEGEND OF POCAHONTAS THROUGH SOURCES
When the English arrived and settled at Jamestown in 1607, Pocahontas was about 11 years old. Although she has since become a cultural icon in America, very little is known about her, and what we do know was written by others. She has been depicted as both the savior of Jamestown and a symbol of American promise.
THE FIRST MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF VIRGINIA, 1619
1619 was a year of many firsts for the Virginia colony, including the first legislative assembly held in English North America. This initial meeting of the General Assembly convened in the choir of the Jamestown church and consisted of the governor, his Council, and elected representatives from all of the settled areas of Virginia.
THE JOHN PUNCH COURT DECISION AND THE ADVENT OF SLAVERY IN VIRGINIA
On July 9, 1640, members of the General Court decided the punishment for three servants-a Dutchman, a Scotsman, and an African-who ran away from their master as a group. The court proceedings reveal an John Punch became the first African sentenced to slavery for life by law in Virginia.
VIRGINIA DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
The Virginia Declaration of Rights was written by George Mason in 1776 and introduced at the Virginia Convention in Williamsburg. It was unanimously adopted on June 12, 1776, and went on to influence the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Bill of Rights.
VIRGINIA RUNAWAY SLAVE ADS
Enslaved African Americans resisted their status in numerous ways, including running away. Runaway slave ads from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries provide a glimpse into the social, economic, and cultural world of American slavery. In this lesson, students will identify and analyze the impact of slavery on Virginia’s culture and economy and on slaves themselves, through the exploration of runaway slave ads.